Helping Child Deal With Frustration


I am writing because I do not know how to handle an issue with my 9 year old son. He is a very good student in school, has never been in trouble and all of his teachers sing his praises. He is relatively smart and picks up concepts pretty easily, especially in math. He has always been the type of child to melt down at home when learning a concept that he cannot do on the first or second try (riding a bike with no training wheels is an example). This summer I am instituting a short (maximum 1 hour) "learning time." This consists of a workbook I purchased and each day is 1 page front and back. As a side note, his younger sister is asked to do learning time as well, but she is younger and has some special needs and therefore requires more of my attention during this time. My son will often lose it and cry from the beginning. He says he doesn't like learning time, or he makes a mistake on something or has trouble with something and absolutely melts down. I hold my ground, I put him in his room to calm down, etc. I insist it get done before he can play. However today the tears started right when I mentioned learning time and he was making statements like "I wish I wasn't such a baby," "I wish I wasn't so sensitive," and "I wish I was never born." I kept calm and told him to calm down in his room, but this behavior is alarming to me. I know he can do good work in a calm manner because he does it every day at school. But home is a nightmare even when it's a tiny bit of work. Help!

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